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Inmates at Stafford Creek help Children’s Advocacy Center

Inmates at Stafford Creek Corrections Center donated $3,000 to help place a shelter over the playground at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Grays Harbor in Montesano.

Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. has hosted an annual leadership class with some of the best and brightest on the Harbor. And, each year, the graduating class decides to get together and help with a charitable event. This year’s class has decided to help the Children’s Advocacy Center. And inmates at Stafford Creek decided they wanted to help.

Between a fundraiser at the Cranberry Road Winery in Westport, an online fundraiser and seeking other donations, the leadership class has raised a little more than $20,000 over the past few months, almost achieving the amount needed to build the structure.

A volunteer offender charity work group within the prison, “Inside Out,” works to give back to the community through activities like making handmade wooden toys (also donated to the Children’s Advocacy Center), reconditioning bikes and donating turkeys to more than two dozen Harbor charities and local businesses. They decided on the Children’s Advocacy Center’s cause for this donation.

Inmates can only make up to $55 per month as full-time employees in prison work programs, said Pat Glebe, the prison superintendent. Once a month, a group of them will pay for a treat delivered from an area restaurant. On those occasions, they agree to pay a few dollars extra and the extra money is set aside for a charitable donation.

“What society doesn’t always understand is that most of us have been locked up since we were kids, 16, 17, 18, 19 years old … and this is the closest sense of the word community that we’ve had the chance to have,” said offender Robert Hampton, who was chosen to speak at a short ceremony to present a check to the Children’s Advocacy Center. He said members of the group hold themselves to living the motto of “respectability counts, integrity matters.”

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